Uh-oh, another one.
“This suit,” Flatt muttered, half turning to the left, then right, as he admired himself in the mirror, “is rather grey. Extremely grey, one might say. But is it…” He ran his hands over the coat. “…too grey?”
“I shouldn’t think so, sir,” his robot coyote responded with a tilt of his head.
The tailor started, falling back onto his bum and dropping his tape. “Heavens! It can talk?”
“Featherby can extremely talk,” Flatt sighed, waving a hand in dismissal of the obvious. “For him not to speak would be the proper marvel.”
The tailor frowned, but went back to work.
Flatt’s gaze returned to the mirror, but truthfully, had never left it. “Perhaps you’re right, Featherby. One can never have too grey a suit, can he?”
“Not when made by the finest tailor in Danesbury, sir.”
“Oh, well,” the tailor sputtered, distracted but obviously chuffed, “th-thank you, yes. You’re a–a fine thing, I suppose.”
Featherby nodded curtly, and Flatt shook his head, summoning an appropriate reply to his tongue, but before it could bust snappily and handsomely through his lips, the shop’s door swung open and a man in a lavender suit twirled in.
“What on Earth…?” Flatt only saw him through the mirror, and still didn’t feel like turning around.
“I require a tune-up for my vestments,” the entrant announced, voice lilting all over the place. His short hair and mustache were blue, which they had no business being, if Flatt were to be consulted on the matter.
“Mr. Gabbery is quite occupied at the moment, I’m afraid,” Flatt said, ensuring his tone suggested his own importance without necessarily rubbing it in the strange man’s face.
“Yet I am an immediate man,” the newcomer assured, holding his arms out and strutting fancily over to the others.
Featherby piped up, “And who are you, precisely, if you do not mind my asking?” There may have been a bite to his words. Good for Featherby.
The man turned to the coyote and set his fingertips upon his breast. “Dabither Fudgebegotten, naturally.” He swooped down and held out a hand, to which Featherby tentatively offered a paw, and they shook. He then straightened up and faced the tailor once more, gesturing over himself. “Now present me that I am presentable.”
“Of–of course, just as soon as I finish–” Mr. Gabbery began, but Fudgebegotten overrode him:
“Cannot be borne, I regret to say. I have many preparations to make.”
Flatt finally deigned to turn his head, raising an eyebrow. “Surely, my good man, you cannot mean to interrupt my fitting?”
“I haven’t the time to wait on questionably grey suits, I fear. I’m certain you understand.”
“Nonsense,” Flatt grumbled. “Its greyness is precise…”
“Nevertheless,” Fudgebegotten intoned, addressing the tailor, “my needs are a priority.” He smiled, and his mustache twiggled. “I promise.”
The tailor furrowed his brow, but nodded. “Very well, then.” He gestured headwise for Flatt to step down from the pedestal.
Flatt eyed him. “Truthfully, Mr. Gabbery?”
“I’m sorry, Mr. Flatt. He did promise.”
Flatt groaned but complied. “Come, then, Featherby. Let us quit the scene of this indignity.” He marched toward the exit, coyote in tow, but stopped as he reached the door, glowering back at the lavender-suited tailor usurper. “Mr. Fudgebegotten – you wouldn’t happen to have been wearing a hat earlier, by any chance?”
“Maaaybe,” Fudgebegotten practically sang, lips pursed joyfully and eyebrows waggling for a needlessly extended period.
Flatt’s face darkened, and he flung his way out through the shop’s threshold.
“You know, sir,” Featherby mused as they walked down the street, “now that I see it in the daylight, I wonder if it could be said that your suit is, perhaps, after all, just a touch too much on the grey side.”
The frown on Flatt’s face might have dislocated his jaw. “Oh, Featherby, why did I build you?”
“For good times, sir.”